Kevin Harvick has been under a lot of speculation this season since Stewart-Haas Racing announced they were switching to Ford and joining forces with Roush Fenway Racing. Main reason is that Harvick has driven Chevrolets since being in the Sprint Cup Series and with Richard Childress Racing. Most speculation could be the lack of power to be able to pass his competition better even with the new aerodynamics package. Now recently a new story has emerged as to why he could leave SHR.
News had come out that Harvick could replace Kasey Kahne at Hendrick Motorsports next season. Only reason to replace Kahne is mainly underperformance the last couple of years. He hasn’t scored as well in the top five the last two years and hasn’t recorded a win since Atlanta in 2014. Though his only best finish is fourth atRichmond and Dover, Kahne has finished outside the top 10 in eight races so far, and those numbers don’t appear to be Hendrick like. Most importantly, Kahne is signed on with Hendrick through 2018.
At any time however, a charter can be removed if an owner feels their driver(s) is not where they should be. I suppose Hendrick could feel composed to release Kahne from his contract and bring a veteran like Harvick on board. One more veteran to help groomChase Elliott when he sets up for his sophomore season in the Sprint Cup Series. Harvick is very familiar with Hendrick equipment since SHR aligned with them, meaning another opportunity to enhance his chances of winning.
How strong can Kevin Harvick make Hendrick? Well his record and maturity says it all. Since joining SHR, Harvick has already racked up nine wins within a two-plus year period, a lot quicker than he did at RCR. Hendrick could help solve the downforce problem that Harvick has lacked this season and last, and could even give his new teammates a run for their money. Even the case of preventing Jimmie Johnson from winning number seven or eight, or Dale Earnhardt Jr winning his first, whichever comes quicker.
A move to Hendrick would make Harvick stronger than ever, and this alliance could put up a fight with Joe Gibbs Racing. Several transitions are already being planned out with Clint Bowyer replacing Tony Stewart next season, and now the switch to Ford. Harvick has blown off the rumors so far, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s hiding anything. Some more moves could be made at SHR, and something tells me the restructuring there is far from over. And with the performance of RFR this season, you’d have to question every driver’s next move.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Bryan Law